Building a Bridge of Opportunity for Unemployed Youth

WOW!  We had such an amazing year in 2017. We have identified a “missing step” of intervention, required before we connect unemployed beneficiaries to opportunities, that will enable them to function in the workplace, develop marketable skills and ultimately careers that will enable them to become effective contributors to the South African Economy.

This missing step is creating a bottleneck for the majority of young people hindering them from accessing work, entrepreneurial and skills opportunities. Our beneficiaries are unemployed young adults – the so called “born free” generation – that are caught up in shackles of poverty. Many of them became adults who have never worked and often lost hope. In many instances our education system has failed to produce scholars who pass matric with the requisite literacy and numeracy levels. As a result, we have large numbers of unemployed youth who lack English literacy skills (the language of choice in the South African business community) as well as rudimentary maths and computer knowledge, they have little chance of getting or moving beyond even the most basic jobs. We have a terrifying tide of desperate people, most of whom are unskilled and ignorant of how to operate within the working environment before they can learn specialised skills.

It has become clear in the market place that when a young person is employed, there is a certain expectation of their ability to integrate them into the work place. The sad fact is that due to social disparity in the communities they were raised in, i.e. a lack of guidance in the home and through the schooling system, they are unprepared to meet the basic soft skills expectations that the employer may have

So in 2017 we paused our Employment Facilitation project and embarked on developing programmes that addresses the missing step as we believe its one of the key interventions the young people from dis-advantaged communities in our country need. It will provide them with a stepping stone into opportunities.

Our Journey…

February 2017 we launched our pilot Adult Based Literacy and Numeracy project for 12 unemployed young adults and it was an exciting journey where we also had huge learning curves.

We started off with an Induction day. It was a special day inspiring candidates to be part of changing their story for the better by attending AET literacy and for Careerlinx staff getting more insight into the individual candidates. Generally, the individual stories were sad and challenging, and the need to supplement the AET training with Psyco/social follow up was made glaringly clear.

We were filled with joy and grateful satisfaction of a project successfully run as we come to the end of our Adult Education Literacy and numeracy training pilot project for unemployed young adults. The successful completion of it has been in spite of various challenges obstacles and bumps in the road. We have learnt allot and look forward to using what we have learned on this pilot journey to improve and build on good foundations we laid and increase the number of beneficiaries in 2018.